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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Zero Dark Thirty

   
Author Topic: Zero Dark Thirty
Jeff C.
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Has anyone else seen it? I just got back from the late showing. I thought it was really good overall, especially the last five to ten minutes.

There was one scene that I felt was kind of silly (it involved someone slamming their hand on a table for dramatic effect), but otherwise it was a solid movie. They really got across the soul behind what was happening and what it would be like to be there in that situation, hunting down Bin Laden. I also really liked the fact that it didn't focus on the President or any of the higher end government officials, because those people didn't really do much, yet they took all the credit. Instead, it focused on the seal team (while never mentioning any of their names *wink*) as well as the CIA members putting it all together. I assumed that all the names involved were fictionalized, but I wouldn't expect them to name anyone, so that didn't bother me. The characters' reactions to the events are what had me hooked. Fantastic acting, especially by the main female protagonist. Finally, a red headed heroine who isn't cheesy and lame or nerdy (Brave was halfway there, I suppose). She's a great actress.

I've never seen the Hurt Locker, but after watching this, I'm tempted to go rent it. Same director, I hear.

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Foust
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Yep, same director.

This was a fantastic movie, and deserves all the money. It walked e tight rope of managing to make what must have been tedious and boring work dramatic.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I look forward to seeing it.

I also really looked forward to seeing Hurt Locker, and then was vastly disappointed. I expected so much more from HL, it was just...okay, nothing special at all.

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umberhulk
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Bigelow is one the best directors at moderating her use of shaky cam in a way thats prevalent but never annoying.
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umberhulk
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Just saw it. Thought it was great. The raid on the facility was fantastic.
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brojack17
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I watched it last night. Great movie. Got a little slow in the middle. The raid was so intense.

The word in the press is that it let's you decide if torture is a viable method for getting info. To me, it was clear. All the most valuable information was obtained during the Bush era. That's all I have to say about that.

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JonHecht
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What's with all this talk about a raid? Spoiler alert, please!
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by brojack17:
I watched it last night. Great movie. Got a little slow in the middle. The raid was so intense.

The word in the press is that it let's you decide if torture is a viable method for getting info. To me, it was clear. All the most valuable information was obtained during the Bush era. That's all I have to say about that.

My understanding is that the depiction of the usefulness of torture in the film has been strongly criticized by most of the people in the know. Specifically, the main piece of information shown to have been gotten by torture was not obtained that way. In fact, the torture led to a mess of lies that the CIA pursued as if they were gospel truth because they had a unrealistic faith in the efficacy of torture and the information (the importance of the courier that led to bin Laden), only came out through more traditional, non-torture related interrogation.
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brojack17
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JonHecht, are you joking? If not, then I apologize. I assumed it was common knowledge. Like Lincoln getting shot in the end.

***Spoiler Alert***

MrS. I didn't get that at all. The information seemed to have come from detainees who were either actively tortured or recently and threatened with it again. That's what I got at least.

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Glenn Arnold
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If you get your news from the movies, think again.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
MrS. I didn't get that at all. The information seemed to have come from detainees who were either actively tortured or recently and threatened with it again. That's what I got at least.
Right. In the movie. Which was fiction.

That's not how it happened in real life, at least according to people who have reason to know what they are talking about.

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brojack17
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Good point.
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brojack17
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GA, the problem I see is that you can't believe anyone. I doubt Congress is being truthful with us, because... well... that would be a first.

Everyone says to investigate on your own, but it's hard to believe anything out there as the truth. Someone always has an agenda.

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Rakeesh
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I
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I

Me too...
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JonHecht
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quote:
Originally posted by brojack17:
JonHecht, are you joking? If not, then I apologize. I assumed it was common knowledge. Like Lincoln getting shot in the end.

... I haven't seen Lincoln yet. [Wall Bash]
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
quote:
Originally posted by brojack17:
JonHecht, are you joking? If not, then I apologize. I assumed it was common knowledge. Like Lincoln getting shot in the end.

... I haven't seen Lincoln yet. [Wall Bash]
Also Bilbo survives all three of the Hobbit movies.
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JonHecht
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
quote:
Originally posted by brojack17:
JonHecht, are you joking? If not, then I apologize. I assumed it was common knowledge. Like Lincoln getting shot in the end.

... I haven't seen Lincoln yet. [Wall Bash]
Also Bilbo survives all three of the Hobbit movies.
That one I knew. Who hasn't read the Hobbit? Jeez [Roll Eyes]
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umberhulk
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I would watch Zero Dark four times before watching Lincoln.
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Rakeesh
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A shame. One at least takes a swing at portraying real history, but then there's not as much chance for bitchin' action in that one.
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umberhulk
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There isn't much bitchin action in this one for the first two hours bub.
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John Stephen
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Yeah i watched this movie 2 days ago online and enjoyed a lot. In this movie i like Jessica Chastain the most, wanna watch again and again.
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Darth_Mauve
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If you want Action and History--try "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter".
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umberhulk
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That movie looks terrible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFeCVCKYo4Y

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BlackBlade
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I liked Master and Commander.
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Thesifer
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The depiction of torture being a "viable" method to obtain worthwhile information has kept me from seeing this. As per the people I know that are interrogators, and reports from others, I am apt to believe torture does not provide reliable information. And in this specific case, the person that gave up the information - gave the info and was then subjected to torture for more information, which was never obtained.

I think the director would have been better served by just admitting the truth that everyone already knows: "This is a fictionalized account, and we will take dramatic license if we feel it helps the story."

Then it's no different than the obviously contrived actions of Jack Bauer.

On that note, I will probably still watch the movie when it's out on Blu-ray. I watched Hurt Locker, it wasn't bad.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Thesifer:
The depiction of torture being a "viable" method to obtain worthwhile information has kept me from seeing this.

They don't get all of their information from torture. In fact, the people in charge actually dismiss it initially because it was obtained from torturing someone (and thereby unreliable). It is only when (after torture is abolished) many other people start verifying this information that the authorities actually start taking it seriously.
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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I liked Master and Commander.

that's because it's great
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Thesifer
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
quote:
Originally posted by Thesifer:
The depiction of torture being a "viable" method to obtain worthwhile information has kept me from seeing this.

They don't get all of their information from torture. In fact, the people in charge actually dismiss it initially because it was obtained from torturing someone (and thereby unreliable). It is only when (after torture is abolished) many other people start verifying this information that the authorities actually start taking it seriously.
That's kind of my issue though, it's inaccurate. Which is fine - I mean everyone has their agenda to push, and it's Hollywood and fictional. Just doesn't make me want to run out and watch it, knowing many people will buy into it hook line and sinker.
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Emreecheek
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I don't think artists should dumb down their work for the masses.

Asking whether or not torture works is an entirely different question, in my opinion, than asking whether or not torture is wrong. This movie asks the latter question, not the former. War isn't some morality play - Sometimes people do bad things and think they're getting good results from it. And I thought the film made quite clear that all the helpful information they thought they had gained through torture was actually already known in the tips they received after 9/11. So those people doing bad things really do go, "Oh, snap. We already knew that. We could've gotten this through morally okay means."

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BlackBlade
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War *is* a morality play. You are trying to survive with your humanity intact. War puts an ever increasing burden on you to be willing to do more and more evil things to secure victory so as to at least survive, if not preserve some sense of morality.

It's more like a morality gauntlet.

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umberhulk
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spoilers

It's hard to say if this movie justifies torture. The very first bread crumb they get is by taking a pow, having been tortured repeatedly and showing him kindness. So while the compassion was the lead getter, it's hard to say if him being tortured assisted in the lead, and that it didn't soften him up and make him thankful that it was over. It doesn't champion or condemn torture. But it uses it and shows the brutal world the characters had to live in. The dichotomy where Maia's commanding officer was feeding those caged monkey's ice cream, just before he was about to go crack skulls, was fascinating.

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Lyrhawn
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I think the problem is that you have to take a very, very nuanced view of the film and pair it with outside knowledge to come away with the conclusion that torture isn't necessary. To the casual observer, it looked like torture was highly effective, and many probably missed that a variety of other intelligence assets were used to actually track bin Laden down.
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Rakeesh
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Of course the film justifies torture. It spends almost the entire firs half of the movie justifying torture, and in the film only a moment or two is spent describing how the information that was so important and retrieved by torture was already in the system, and required no further torture to get.

Much time is spent on ohh how scary and badass the CIA interrogator is, so chilly and ruthless and effective without ever pointing out that it's pretty easy to seem like a badass if the other guy is naked and sleepless and surrounded by a few goons.

No attention at all was paid to the notion of addressing the problem of terrorism with an increase in support for human intelligence assets-actually putting people out there or finding them and using them as spies. Instead it's almost all about how it's really important that we keep on with the snatch up guys and keep 'em naked in a garage for a few weeks, that's what we need to do and that's what protects the country.

Cmon umberhulk, *of course* the film justifies torture.

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umberhulk
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Right, because they turned him in time to stop the attack his family was planning. I don't interpret as an argument anyway. Bigelow never promised me 100% authenticity. She just promised me a well directed, acted, and edited movie.

And uh, I don't that think they had to point that out. *of course* it's easy to seem like a badass when someone else can't defend themselves. You don't "point that out".

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Rakeesh
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You're changing the conversation. Earlier you said the film didn't justify torture-it clearly does. Whether for aesthetic or editing or thriller movie reasons.
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umberhulk
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And torture fails to prevent the first casualties shown in the film.

The conversation talks about both. Go back and look at your first (or second) post in the thread Rakeesh, it clearly contains you bemoaning the accuracy of the film. I said Bigelow didnt promise that to anyone

(and I said what she did promise to contrast the two, but that's not going to change the conversation. If thats the only sentence that bothers you so much I'll delete it.)

[ February 27, 2013, 01:51 AM: Message edited by: umberhulk ]

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Black Fox
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think the problem is that you have to take a very, very nuanced view of the film and pair it with outside knowledge to come away with the conclusion that torture isn't necessary. To the casual observer, it looked like torture was highly effective, and many probably missed that a variety of other intelligence assets were used to actually track bin Laden down.

Maybe we watched a different film or I'm a "nuanced" viewer. What sources and methods shown in the movie to be successful were a number of interrogations that showed no torture and finally sifting through intelligence submitted by a "friendly" intelligence agency.

If anything the film portrays torture as a grisly practice and lets movie goers see exactly what some of the "enhanced interrogation" tactics were. Even if viewers come away with a view that these tactics gleaned us some potentially valuable intelligence, it also shows that it was torture. I think that alone is worth something.

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Rakeesh
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Yeah, I'll agree with that. It certainly didn't treat it with the usual Hollywood whitewash, the actual process I mean.
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umberhulk
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I was always wondered if Maia had actually advocated the straight up bombing of the facility, or if she was just putting up a front to impress the marines. Leveling the place would have been so ****ed up.
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